|ESPN.com: Surfing||[Print without images]|
Coolangata, Australia may be thousands of miles from the North Shore, but yesterday, the little Gold Coast town's presence was very real. Stephanie Gilmore and Joel Parkinson, Both "Goldy" natives, claimed firsts at Alii Beach Park yesterday.
Gilmore, 22, won the Cholo's Women's Hawaiian Pro -- her first career victory at Haleiwa Beach. Parko, in the Reef Hawaiian Pro, crushed his first heat since being sidelined this summer by an injured foot.
In double-overhead, bumpy waves, he scored a perfect 10-point ride, backed it up with a 9.87, and posted the highest two-wave total of the event, a 19.87 out of a possible 20 points.
|That sweet ponytail surfs better than you do.|
"The foot feels good. I didn't think it was that good, but it feels good now," said Parkinson, 28, who is the defending Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champ. "I couldn't ask for a better place to comeback after a long injury. It's a lot easier to surf when you have a wave that pushes you hard. It's really hard to surf on small little waves so it feels really good to be back in Hawaii."
|Steph Gilmore adds another win at the Cholo's Womens Pro at Haliewa.|
While Parko is back and looks more deadly than ever in a jersey, Stephanie Gilmore never left. She looks poised to capture her third-consecutive Triple Crown title after dominating the Cholo's Women's Hawaiian Pro yesterday.
Gilmore combed the field halfway through the final, smashing the competition with a two-wave total of 17.77. She admitted that Haleiwa suits her style of surfing well. "It's more about long drawn-out turns and sort of reading the wave really well," said Gilmore of her approach to the 8 to 12-foot wave face heights in the Cholo's Women's Hawaiian Pro final. "Just picking those steeper spots, especially on this deep bank, they're kind of hard to find the steeper spots to get the most critical turn in. I just enjoy right-handers of any kind, and I just felt comfortable out there."
|Cholo's Womens Pro finalist, Alana Blanchard.|
It was hard to believe that a Hawaiian Pro victory eluded Gilmore since yesterday because her surfing looked like it was built for Haleiwa. She surfed fluidly, throwing down a big first maneuver and utilizing the entire wave. Gilmore fell only once during the final, and put an exclamation point at the end of every wave.
The Reef Hawaiian Pro is likely to continue today with a stacked Round of 64. Cory Lopez and Josh Kerr, both looking to get back on the ASP World Tour, are looking solid. Last year's champ, Joel Centeio, surfs in Heat 16.Cholo's Women's Hawaiian Pro Reslts